Reborn Collaboration 2018
Labour heralds new beginnings,
in whose exhaustion,
become life throes.
across pure white sheets
in a carnival of scars
that is your awakening.
(Alison Ross 2018)
This fantastic opportunity arose as part of the "Linen Biennale Northern Ireland" Festival, which celebrates the past, present and future landscape of linen through an extended arts festival. Held every two years, it is presented and hosted by multiple venues across Northern Ireland and aims to stimulate new thinking about Ireland's oldest textile products, flax and linen.
The festival aims to form a bridge between Northern Ireland's linen heritage and contemporary users by showcasing linen's applications within arts, craft, design and technology from past, present and future perspectives. This gives the linen story relevance to a wide range of modern audiences locally, nationally and internationally.
Lucy Turner, a well known print artist, worked in collaboration with the "Words for Castle Ward" writers group, to which I belong, to produce an evocative installation of Shibori inspired linen panels, in hand dyed indigo that she then over-printed with geometric patterns inspired by flooring in old Irish linen workers cottages and the words of ten selected poets, myself included. The poetry was inspired by the process itself and Lucy's experience of it. The exhaustion of the labour, the fading of the indigo with each use, it's death creating something special, the precision of the process and also a letting go so that the process has a life of its own too.
The result was a breathtakingly beautiful set of panels, each unique in both colour, design and energy, which worked with and was complimented by the poetry that became a part of it.
What and experience! What a privilege!